Got antibodies?

The 6 train that kept us on our NYC schedule

I am a tad off schedule lately.  Wow, that really sounds funny coming from let’s take each day as it rolls me, but it is true.  Actually I have been playing catch up since we missed our 6:55am departing bus out of NYC. I set my alarm for the correct time however it was that little AM/PM thing that messed me up.  The night owl that I am subconsciously related more with the PM side of things and subsequently that is where my alarm clock remained (4:30PM) while my body remained comfortably in bed stockpiling on some REM.  By the time I, the sole alarm setter, awoke it was too late.  We were bus toast. Thankfully we were able to get on the next bus, a 4:20pm bus, out of the city.  The late arrival home and 3AM bedtime was rough even for this veteran night dweller. We have been schedule constipated ever since. 

I do have cool photos a comin’ but I wanted to post something Mr. Pavlov said that was an eye opener. We set off for NYC with our easy-going, fresh faces smiling.  When we were bumped, shoved, or pushed we flowed with it.  When we were tackled for the last seat on the subway we didn’t fight back.  When our hands were forcefully booted from the subway pole (the pole that keeps your human parts from sprawling all over someone else) we scurried to find another. When our kids were roughly jostled by rushed NY’ers we caught them.  When our taxi was stolen taken we hailed another.  We exhibited Saint-like patience and kindness.

But then something happened the longer we stewed in this environment.  Our easy-going faces became distressfully determined. When bumped, shoved, or pushed we returned physical fire and threw in a warning hip check.  When we were tackled for the last seat on the subway we fought back.  When our hands were forcefully booted from the subway pole (the pole that keeps your human parts from sprawling all over someone else) we clenched them tighter and made the other rider scurry to find another. When our kids were roughly jostled by rushed NY’ers we glared and made cutting comments. When our taxi was stolen taken we angrily told the young taxi hijackers to find another.

 Patience and kindness who?

We could feel our attitude changing and our ugly coming on and before we knew it we almost mirrored the very behavior we disliked.  It was then that Mr. Pavlov shook his head and simply said “Man, this behavior is contagious!

Those powerful words woke us up from the contagious bad behavior spell and we stopped hip checking the elderly and gave them our subway seats once again.  While not fully immunized against behavioral diseases, our experience gave us the antibodies we require to recognize future invasion one contagious exposure at a time!

How have you dealt with ugly?  Got antibodies to share?

16 responses to “Got antibodies?

  1. I’ve lived for many years in a big city but now I live in a nice, quite small town. I never been happier!!! It comes with disadvantages (not that many interesting and fun things to do) but is worth it. Why? Because talking the subway. the bus, going around in the city was very stressful. Everyday coming home I was anxious, stressed, pissed name it. Dealing with other people, being around them, they are rude, you get rude back at them and so on. I can not deal with that no more. Even now, I prefer when I go to a supermarket to go late in the afternoon, I avoid weekends. I am a happy, optimistic person but the big cities bring the worst in me and I have no cure for that if I would continuously live there.

  2. I lived in the city for several years and it is hard to remain nice. My attitude got ugly and I became very mean. Initially I knew I started to act this way but it was difficult not to and suddenly it became all about my survival, my schedule, my life until I didn’t even notice the ugly anymore. It was just how I was. That’s when I decided to trade the city for the suburb. and I love it!

  3. It’s going to be interesting reading your posts on NYC having never been there. Already, your readers comments are interesting. The first time we visited Honolulu and came home, I laid in bed and said to Mike “can you hear that?” He responded “I don’t hear anything” and I would reply “exactly.” Can’t believe you missed the train!

    • haha – that’s what I say to Donnie when the kids are at my parent’s house. Somehow I didn’t picture Honolulu as a noisy place. I’ll post some of the photos soon.

  4. “schedule constipated”…my whole family, except me, suffers from this ailment!

    I’m glad you recovered from the contagious bad behaviour! I’ve never been to NYC and have no desire to go…Toronto and Montreal are big enough for me! I think I’m only meant to live in or near cities of less than 100,000 people!

    I hope you’re back “on track” soon…


    • We should be back to normal (whatever that is) soon. My bro-in-law lives in NYC so we go there occasionally to visit. Even though we used to live in NW Washington D.C. I have to mentally psych myself up for the NYC adventure but it is a great learning experience and cultural exposure for the kids. My youngest son has been thanking God for his bed and clean feet ever since encountering several homeless people on this last trip!

  5. We lived in Queens for two years and I kept telling myself that it was because too many people live in too small a place, but I still want to honk when the car in front of me does not go the SECOND the light turns green. (I actually liked that part of the city although I had to take copious amounts of valium every time I drove in Manhattan.) ((I’m excited to hear what you did – we are going over Memorial Day Weekend.))

    • I miss my horn too! We lived in D.C. for a few years and like you, I miss the cars actually moving when the light turns green. I also miss the left lane being utilized for the faster cars! We had a great time with this trip. I’m going to post some of the photos and details soon. Remember to visit Chinatown…your aura with thank-you!

  6. Oh man, I know what you’re talking about. I lived in a city of 8 million (Wuhan, China) growing up and a lot of times it was everyone for themselves when out in public. Definitely brings out the worst in people. Glad you guys were able to step back and put some perspective on it, though!

    • Wow, now that is a city! What an experience. BTW, I loved the photo you posted demonstrating how you had to wash your hair in China! I showed my 14yr old daughter and I think it was the first time she was silent 🙂 The “everyone for themselves” attitude appears to be a common theme among the cities. I guess being aware is half the solution!

  7. I once worked in Manhattan for 9 months and found the city that never sleeps to be a much friendlier place than I expected. However, Mr. Pavlov’s observation about contagious bad behavior was very astute. It is actually easier to go through life with patience and kindness than to be angry and aggressive. Not that I always find it easy to remember that!

    P.S. One of my favorite subway activities was something I dubbed “subway surfing.” I deliberately let go and tried to maintain balance for as long as possible without grabbing for a support… only on trains that weren’t crowded though, lest I bowl down a bunch of irritable commuters.

    • My youngest was subway surfing on the not too crowded trains too! He loved it. The kids loved the city. Kids are so flexible and we can learn much from them.

  8. While I love your observation, I think I’ll leave the ugly I deal with right where it is! LOL

    I think our city is not too bad, really. I hear about NYC (as everyone does) but never been there and really no desire to go – my view is, see one big city you’ve seen ’em all). Tavel to me is more this guy’s way: – THAT is what I’d do if I had my choice!

    • Thanks for the link – I’ll have to check it out. Truth – I think city life is pretty much the same although, Times Square was pretty cool! I’ve been to a ton of large cities but have yet to see anything like Times Square.

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